The Supply Chain’s Laggy, But Your Embroidery Orders Don’t Need to Be

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that there are global supply chain and stock slowdowns due to the pandemic. These far-reaching shipping issues are impacting everything from must-have toys hitting store shelves in time for the holiday season, to you guessed it, your custom embroidered apparel orders.

However, never fear, we’ve got some helpful tips so you can detour around this laggy supply chain as much as possible, and get your holiday orders on time.

What’s Up With the Supply Chain?

If you’re wondering what’s going on with the supply chain, we’re glad you asked. First, there are container ships waiting offshore at ports all over the world to unload their cargo.

This backlog of ships has impacted the U.S. market at three of the West Coast’s most critical shipping ports—Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland—reaching as high as 40 ships waiting in February. Even with the number of anchored container ships dropping to the low 20s and teens this summer, they’re still causing a bottleneck.

shipping containers waiting to load
Shipping containers are piling up at ports all over the world.

Consider also that the Port of Los Angeles reported a six-day waiting period for unloading and docking space in late May 2021. In “normal” times (as in, no pandemic in sight), that process happens within one day. Staffing shortages at trucking terminals have also contributed to longer unloading times.

In tandem, there’s been a global shipping container shortage. Now, with a huge demand to stock and restock inventories, along with shipping disruptions, many thousands of containers are stranded at sea on ships docked near backed-up ports. Even more, containers keep stacking up at inland freight hubs in America, Asia, and Europe, as companies across most industries can’t keep up with increased cargo flows.

However, container production is on the rise, with China-based factories set to produce 5.4 million containers this year, up from 2.8 million steel boxes produced in 2019. While this may not help ease the 2021 holiday season supply-chain woes, things do look brighter for 2022.

So How Can I Get My Embroidered Fleece on Time?

Great question! In the decorated-apparel space, we’ve experienced shortages of T-shirts and other in-demand apparel categories from our suppliers over the past 18 months. (Some shops are even struggling to get the inks they need.)

If you’re planning to order employee uniform pieces, holiday gifts (like jackets or hoodies) for your team or clients, or want some fun T-shirts for that annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, here are our top tips for getting your order from us on time:

1. Shop our catalog before Oct. 29, 2021 to get the best possible selection.

There’s no better time than the present to check out our robust online catalog of apparel ready to be custom embroidered or screen printed for you. We stock more than 3,000 curated items in the most popular apparel categories, including polo shirts, T-shirts, hats, activewear, jackets, fleece, bags and more. Plus, if you want the brand names you know and love at retail, we carry apparel from Nike, The North Face, Under Armour, Eddie Bauer, Carhartt, OGIO, New Era, to name a few.

calendar with oct 29 circled
Shop our online catalog by Oct. 29, 2021 to score the best selection.

2. Consider fleece and outerwear pieces (hint: lots of inventory).

Based on our close monitoring of apparel stock, fleece and jackets have a deeper inventory than categories like T-shirts and polos. Fleecewear, like sweatshirts and hoodies, and jackets are essential cool-weather basics, which people will wear daily if they fit well and look great.

If you invest in premium or better-quality fleece and outerwear, more than 6,000 potential customers will see your logo. Why? If your employee or client loves the logoed hoodie or jacket, they’ll reach for it nearly every day. When you choose on-trend styles that match what people see at retail, they’ll perceive that this branded pullover or jacket is more expensive and higher value than a T-shirt.

Custom embroidered outerwear has the deepest stock as of October 2021, so shop now.

3. Retail-brand outerwear is going fast (so shop now).

Yes, it’s now October, but you know that once the fall train starts rolling, it doesn’t slow down. It only speeds up. If you like to gift your top-performing sales team or best clients with retail-brand apparel, start shopping. If you like to stock your corporate store with retail brand hoodies and pullovers, start shopping.

As we mentioned, we’re a one-stop shop where you can get outerwear, fleece, hoodies, windbreakers, and vests from brands like The North Face, Patagonia, Under Armour, Eddie Bauer, Carhartt, OGIO, New Era and more. You can select great styles from these retail name brands, and we can embroider or print your logo or message artwork on them, all in time for the holiday season.

However, since retail brand outerwear will likely be out of stock or be very size limited by Black Friday, get a jump on all your competitors and order these in-demand styles by or before Oct. 29, 2021.

Our Experts Are Here to Help…

If you’re looking for the highest-quality decorated apparel to promote your brand, call the experts at Corporate Casuals (866) 369-5935 or fill out our contact form and tell us how we can help.